My Struggle Plus a Perfect Picture Book Friday Review.

I needed to step away from my blog for a while because being a full-time mom became more important. I’ve always been able to juggle my day between being a wife, a mom, and a writer. But after my daughter’s required eye exam to enter 6th grade, life took a turn.

I first noticed something had changed when I asked her to fetch my blue notebook, and she said the only one she could find was purple. Slowly, all colors appeared different to her. Then, she said things that were once red looked gray.

The eye doctor discovered she has an extremely rare case of macular degeneration for which there is no cure.

My father-in-law, a retired doctor, was a great help. In a matter of a few hours, he found a specialist at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital. But when I called to make an appointment, the secretary told me the soonest appointment she had was in four months. I cried. She asked me to hold for a moment, and when she came back on the line she said she could fit my daughter in at the end of the week.

The specialist found that the layer of cones which allows us to see color is disrupted in both of my daughter’s eyes directly behind each retina. Then, she said what I didn’t want to hear. “I’m puzzled.” She wouldn’t say what she thought it pointed to, only that we need to come back for more tests. While I’m holding my breath, experiencing a nervous heart, and fighting back tears, I’ve taken matters into my own hands. The hours each day I devote to my writing have turned into research hours to help my daughter.

When I came across book after book and website after website all pointing to the same list of foods that speed and foods that slow Macular Degeneration, I made changes.

Our kitchen went through an upheaval as I moved systematically from refrigerator to freezer to cabinet, filling garbage bag after garbage bag with all the “bad” foods. Then, I went shopping for the “healing” foods. With a will to save her sight, my daughter helps me experiment with recipes. And despite how some meals have turned out, she has been encouraging, tolerant, and helpful as we push on. As restrictive as this diet is, I’ve joined her because everything is easier when you have someone to lean on and share the journey with.

My picture book review for Perfect Picture Book Friday will be shorter than usual but seems appropriate because of what my family is going through.

Title – A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Written by – Philip C. Stead

Illustrated by – Erin E. Stead

Published by – A Neal Porter Book by Roaring Brook Press – 2010

Topics – Friendship, support, and caring.

Opening –  Amos McGee was an early riser. Every morning when the alarm clock clanged, he swung his legs out of bed and swapped his pajamas for a fresh-pressed uniform.

Amazon’s Review –  View it HERE.  Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.


22 thoughts on “My Struggle Plus a Perfect Picture Book Friday Review.

  1. What a great classic to share! I hope you get some answers for your daughter. Researching the right foods to create a special diet for her must really be a challenge. Glad you’ve joined her and have a doctor in the family who can guide you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry to hear of your daughter’s diagnosis and sympathize with the frustrating and time-consuming process of seeking answers and solutions. Sending you both best wishes and hope for renewed resilience as you move forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cathy, My daughter has more tests to take before the doctor feels she will have a complete enough picture to say something. Waiting is hard. At least I feel through the dramatic diet change that we’re being proactive in slowing or stopping my daughter’s eyes from worsening.


  3. Leslie- you and your daughter are on my prayer list. We deal with a similar situation with a granddaughter. Drastic dietary changes. Your girl is blessed to have a mom who cares enough to put lesser things on hold in order to provide the best care possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thinking of you and your family in this difficult time. How true that we turn to books when we are challenged in life — Amos McGee is a great choice for remembering to lean on friends for support throughout this time, Leslie!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Holding you and your daughter close to my heart, Leslie. As someone with eye issues and a belief that ‘you are what you eat’, I totally understand how all-consuming your search has been to find the foods that will halt the progress of this disease. Sending healing thoughts and prayers!

    And YAY for this book…it is one of my favorites…thanks for reminding me about it…I’ll have to grab a copy at the library when I go.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Leslie, sending healing thoughts and prayers to your daughter, your family & you. How blessed they are to have you in their lives! Thank you for sharing a wonderful picture book & for letting us know the journey you are on. We’re here for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Leslie,
    Sending continued thoughts of courage and wisdom during this difficult journey. I’m sure it is painful and frightening, though in this midst of it you are modeling to your daughter how one can respond to crisis and scare. I admire your commitment and energy.



    Liked by 1 person

  8. I just read this and my heart squeezed tight. I’m hoping your daughter’s eye problems are looking more solvable. At first I thought maybe she has color blindness like my father did and my son and now my grandson have. But obviously it sounds more serious than that. I’ve never known that diet could affect eyesight the way you’re describing. Sending you and your daughter lots of hugs. Sharing DOES help. So does reading the perfect picture book as you show here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind wishes. Yes, the color blindness is only one part of the macular degeneration for my daughter. She has also lost a fair portion of her peripheral vision. More tests are coming up for her at the hospital at the end of this week. As soon as life smooths out, and I hope that will be soon, I’ll be back to reviewing more picture books.


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